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News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown. (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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  PBS    PBS News Hour    News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff,  
   Jeffrey Brown.  (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    May 14, 2013
    3:00 - 4:01pm PDT  

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: the obama administration was on the defensive on two fronts today, facing tough questions about the i.r.s.'s scrutiny of conservative groups, and the justice department's seizure of reporters' phone records. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we start with the i.r.s. under fire, with a criminal investigation now under way after reports its audits of tea party and other groups extended to officials in washington. >> woodruff: and we examine the clash between the first amendment and leaked classified information, after the government secretly obtained phone logs of the associated press. >> brown: then, fred de sam lazaro reports on a new approach to educate and engage millions of india's poorest students.
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>> woodruff: margaret warner has the strange story of a detained american diplomat, his wigs, and russia's claims he was a spy. >> brown: and political editor christina bellantoni talks with the author of a new book that explores how technology is impacting our democracy. >> this radical power, this incredible connectivity that individuals are carrying around, it's reshaping the balance of power in our municipality in both good ways and bad ways. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> by b.p. >> and by at&t. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: the nation's capital was alive with talk of scandal today, starting with the revelations about the internal revenue service. questions grew over reports of overzealous enforcement, aimed at groups on the political right. the day began with new
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disclosures about what the i.r.s. had done and who knew about it. the "washington post" reported the targeting of conservative groups was not limited to the agency's cincinnati office as the i.r.s. initially said. instead, the "post" said agency officials in washington and at least two other officers were also involved. that prompted new calls by republicans for more information. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell demanded full transparency. >> so this morning i'm calling on the president to make available completely and without restriction everyone, everyone, who can answer the questions we have as to what's been going on at the i.r.s. who knew about it and how high it went. no stonewalling, no more incomplete answers. >> reporter: president obama on monday said singling out conservative groups for tax scrutiny would be "outrageous."
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and at the white house today press secretary jay carney said again the president is determined to get to the bottom of the scandal. >> if what we're seeing in some of these reports about specific targeting and actions taken by personnel within the i.r.s. turns out to be true then people should be held accountable and what that means in concrete action we'll have to say based on the information and the facts in a are gathered, principally at least first by the inspector general. the. >> brown: the acting commissioner of the i.r.s. was heard from, too, for the first time. in a "u.s.a. today" op-ed column steven miller acknowledged agency workers reported to "short cuts" because they had so many applications for tax-exempt status. miller conceded the actions demonstrated "a lack of sensitivity to the implications of some of the decisions that were made."
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yesterday the i.r.s. said miller had learned last year that groups with tea party, patriot, or 9/12 project in their names were targeted but he did not notify congress despite inquiries by some lawmakers. this afternoon, republican senator orrin hatch of utah said that failure raises serious questions. >> he purposefully misled me. because i wrote a letter, i had other senators on the letter, i got a letter back from him basically saying that's no problem when he knew according to the information i have right now he knew that that was not true. >> brown: another republican, missouri senator roy blunt, said if the reports about miller are true he should resign or be fired. but the chamber's democratic majority leader harry reid said such talk is premature. >> the person who was working on this at the time it happened was a republican appointee during the bush years.
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the man acting now is temporary. he's acting and we're looking to get a permanent person there. so to act to have some temporary guy resign, his name is miller, as far as i know he's done a good job. >> brown: lawmakers will have the opportunity to question miller on friday when he testifies before the house ways and means committee. meanwhile, attorney general eric holder said he's ordered the f.b.i. to see if any laws were broken. >> i think as everyone can agree this was if not criminal certainly outrageous and unacceptable but we are examining the facts to see if there were criminal violations. >> brown: a full report on the matter by a treasury department inspector general is expected to shed further light on the matter. that report has, in fact, been released a short time ago. joining us with the latest, juliet eilperin and eliza newlin
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carney. juliet, i guess you've been doing fast reading over there. what can you tell us about the i.g. report. what does it say? >> so the most significant new information coming from the i.g. report is essentially saying that because of this screening criteria that that applied to conservative group frs there was virtually no work done in terms of approving these groups for 13 months and over a period of 18 months they had criteria that, again, singled out groups with names such as "team" "patriot" and "9/12." so that's the most interesting new information. it also points out that some groups say it's -- faced considerable delays in some cases more than three years, spaning two election cycles so it gives you a sense of what was the real-world impact of this effort by the i.r.s. to categorize all of these conservative groups in one place. >> brown: does it tell us any more about who is making these decisions? what the -- name names or
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anything within the i.r.s.? >> no, in fact, of course, it does raise some questionss. there's a great deal that's redacted, including an event at the very beginning of the timeline in february, 2010, which is completely blacked out. so it still does raise real questions about who knew what when and what was the instigation for this program in the first place. >> brown: eliza, what about the announcement of the f.b.i. starting a criminal investigation? what do we know about ha they're looking senate. >> it's, in fact, a violation of law for the i.r.s. to engage in discrimination in the enforcement of the tax code so there could have been criminal violations here and i think to some degree this reflects the obama administration trying to get a little bit ahead of this controversy. >> brown: and what do you see? you've had a chance to look at some of the i.g. report. what does it tell you about the workings of the i.r.s.? >> well, the i.r.s. has long been subject to complaints from groups on both sides of the aisle that this enforcement of this area of tax law: namely,
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political activity by tax-exempt groups, is vague and inconsistent and everything we see in this report and in the reports about this so far suggest that the i.r.s. to some degree really didn't know what it was looking for, what it was trying to accomplish. the officials were said, first, to look for one set of criteria, then to look for another set of criteria, the criteria kept changing from year to year so it creates an impression of an agency that, frankly, didn't know what it was doing. >> brown: and as we saw, the acting director wrote today the agency took short cuts because of so many applications coming. the context there is the changes in the campaign finance laws? >> yes. and we should say that in the i.r.s.' defense they had literally thousands of applications for tax exemption. these had more than doubled since the citizens united ruling in 2010 which deregulated political spending and which to some degree invited these groups to play a bigger political role. so at the same time, the i.r.s.
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had cuts in its budget, cuts in its staff. so they clearly were overwhelmed. but it doesn't take away from the fact that they've long been criticized for having subjective and vague criteria for how to regulate. >> brown: juliet eilperin, one thing we do know from your story is that this did go beyond the original reports, beyond the office in cincinnati. so where's the focus that you see for all of these questions think still ultimately these are questions that people like steven miller will have to answer, the acting commissioner. it's obvious that while, again, cincinnati played the central role because that was the division charged with considering these applications for tax-exempt organizations, you had other field offices as well as headquarters involved in it and really they're going to have to answer some key questions about to what extent did people beyond lois lerner make decisions about what was the approach that i.r.s. rank-and-file employees were taking when they were targeting
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these groups. >> pelley: and staying with you, what do you see is the white house response so far? we can see what they're saying publicly. can you tell what's going on behind the scenes? >> it's a little unclear, though i think. and as the clip that you played from senate majority leader harry reid indicated, i wouldn't be surprised if they're working very quickly to get a new nominee for commissioner of the i.r.s. in place so that, for example, they can at least address that one aspect now that steven miller is coming urn fire. it wouldn't surprise me if they were trying to come up with a new replacement who wouldn't be associated with these activities. so -- but publicly they've been very tentative. they said they wouldn't comment in detail until the i.g. report was released. now that it is we haven't got our comment yet but we're hoping they'll be more forthcoming. >> brown: eliza, last word, what do you see? >> i think this is just going to escalate. this problem of how the i.r.s. regulates political groups isn't going go away. there aren't easy answers.
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it swhes difficult to draw bright lines around political activity. >> brown: you mean the larger picture? >> yes, and i think it will continue to be a political problem for the administration. >> brown: eliza newlin car carney and juliet eilperin, thank you very much. >> woodruff: coming up, an american diplomat in russia arrested for being a spy and how technology is affecting our democracy. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: a philadelphia abortion doctor will serve life in prison without parole for murdering three babies. dr. kermit gosnell was convicted monday of killing the babies, moments after they were born alive at his grimy clinic. today the 72-year-old gosnell forfeited his right to appeal, in a bid to avoid the death penalty. the death toll in the civil war in syria may be far higher than reported so far. the syrian observatory for human rights, based in london, estimated today that at least 94,000 people have died in the two-year conflict.
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that exceeds the u.n.'s numbers by more than 20,000. the human rights group drew its information from sources across syria. it said the death figure could be as high as 120,000. in bangladesh, a prayer service today honored the 1,127 people who perished in last month's garment factory collapse in dhaka. thousands of mourners returned to the site of the disaster to pay tribute to the victims and to those survivors who remain hospitalized. the search for bodies ended yesterday. in a related development, wal- mart joined other retailers today in pledging in-depth safety inspections at the bangladesh factories it uses. the u.s. defense department now plans to furlough more than 600,000 civilian employees for 11 days through september. secretary chuck hagel announced it today at a town hall with pentagon workers. thousands of workers at shipyards will be exempt, and there won't be as many furlough
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days as originally feared. but hagel said he could not avoid furloughs entirely under mandatory budget cuts from sequestration. >> i can't run this institution into the ditch. this will go until the end to have fiscal year. we've taken it as close to the line as we can and it's still capable of protecting this country and this country's interest around the world. >> holman: the furloughs are set to begin in early july. three u.s. troops were killed in southern afghanistan today. nato said they died when a roadside bomb struck their convoy in the zhari district of kandahar province. a day earlier, a truck bomb killed three georgian soldiers in the nato force. so far this year, 58 foreign troops have died in afghanistan, including 44 americans. authors of a sweeping u.s. immigration bill defeated new efforts today to make major changes in the measure. the senate judiciary committee spent a second day voting on some of the hundreds of proposed
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amendments. supporters turned back a republican proposal for eye scans and finger-prints to track those entering and leaving the country. the oscar-winning actor and director angelina jolie has announced she had a preventive double mastectomy. she says she underwent the surgery after learning she was strongly predisposed to getting ea jolie told her story in an opinion piece in "the new york times." she said she hopes it will help other women in similar situations. a genetic test found jolie had an 87% chance of getting breast cancer. her mother died of the disease at age 56. we have more, online, about the gene that increased jolie's risk of developing the disease. that's on our health page. there may be no benefit to sharply restricting salt intake, and it may actually do harm. the institute of medicine reports today that americans do eat far too much salt, and says some reduction is good.
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but researchers found no evidence that drastically cutting back helps overall heart health. the panel called for more and better research to find the best level. the national transportation safety board called today for states to cut the threshold for drunken driving by nearly half. the board recommended lowering the maximum allowed blood alcohol level from .08 to .05. it said that standard has substantially reduced highway deaths around the world. the new recommendation translates to about one drink for a woman weighing less than 120 pounds and two for a man weighing around 160 pounds. on wall street, stocks rose to fresh highs, partly on news that small business owners are a bit more optimistic about their prospects. the dow jones industrial average gained 123 points to close at 15,215. the nasdaq rose more than 23 points to close at 3462. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy.
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>> woodruff: we turn to the other story the obama administration was criticized for, the collection of journalists' phone records in the name of tracking down classified leaks. the associated press says it was notified friday that the justice department secretly subpoenaed records for more than 20 of its phone lines. the a.p.'s kathleen carroll says they listed outgoing calls from april and may of 2012. >> they haven't told us what they're looking for and nor have they explained why we got no prior notice which our lawyers tell us not only is customary but required. >> woodruff: a.p.'s president and c.e.o. gary pruitt sent a letter of protest to attorney general eric holder. in it he wrote: he said it amounts to "a serious interference with a.p.'s
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constitutional right to gather and report the news." pruitt demanded that d.o.j. return the records and destroy any copies, but this afternoon, attorney general holder said he had recused himself at the start of the probe. instead he said deputy attorney general james kohl authorized the subpoena for the a.p. records >> i don't know all that went into the formulation of the subpoena. this was a very serious leak and a very, very serious leak. i've been a prosecutor since 1976 and i have to say that this is among if not the most serious it's within the top two or three most serious leaks i've ever seen. it put the american people at risk. that is not hyperbole. it put the american people at risk. and we're trying to determine who is responsible far required
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aggressive action. >> woodruff: holder suggested the focus is on government officials who did the leaking more than on reporters. >> we've investigated cases on the basis of the facts, not as a result of a policy to get the press or to do anything of that nature. the facts in the law have dictated our actions in that regard. >> woodruff: and in a written response to the a.p.'s pruitt, kohl sited a may 2012 investigation into the disclosure of classified information. he also said that subpoenaed covered only a portion of that two-month period and include personnel involved in the reporting of classified information. on may 7 of last year, the a.p. reported that a c.i.a. operation in yemen had foiled an al qaeda plot to bomb an airliner bound for the u.s. that same day a.p. reporter adam goldman spoke to the newshour's kwame holman about the decision to publish
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>> you had been in discussions with the u.s. government about holding the story and decidetog. the government did not want this story reporedolleagues and i learned about this plot as it was unfolding. and we agreed for national security reasons that we would not publish once those concerns passed we decided today that the public had a right to know that the u.s. had thwarted what we considered to be a very serious plot against aviation. >> woodruff: the justice department has not confirmed that story is the focus of the investigation and the white house, jay corny would not give specifics. >> i can't comment on the specifics but i can tell you the president feels strongly that we need a -- the press to be able to be unfettered in its pursuit of investigative journalism. he is also mindful of the need for secret and classified information to remain secret and
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classified in order to protect our national security interests. so there are -- there is a careful balance here that the must be attained. >> woodruff: politicians from both parties warned the justice department may have gone too far. democratic senator patrick leahy chairing the judiciary committee said he is very troubled. republican national committee chairman reince priebus called for attorney general holder to resign. more on all this now from an attorney representing the a.p. david schulz specializes in first amendment issues and is a partner at levine sullivan koch and schulz. we invited the department of justice to appear on the program but officials declined our offer. dave schulz, welcome to the newshour. first of all, why does the associated press consider this a violation of their constitutional right? >> well, judy, this is a serious issue because without sources there isn't the news. reporters need sources to figure out what's going on in the government and this was really a
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very large-scale intrusion into a.p.'s news-gathering activities. the subpoena sought, as you mentioned, 20 phone lines in a number of bureaus around the country where 100 or more reporters -- 100 or more different reporters work so it was extremely broad and the impact on that is really devastating because it gives the government kind of an ability to see what the a.p. was doing, how it goes about its business, who it was talking to not on any particular story but on every story covered during that period of time and it's just overreaching in a fundamental way that has an adverse impact on the press. >> we heard the attorney general say this was a leak of classified information. he said it was one of the most serious he's ever seen and the damage it did to u.s. national security. is why doesn't that justify a full-fledged investigation? >> well, there always are issues and balances, i think, as the white house said today between national security and the free
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press. but this sort of action should be taken in very, very rare circumstances and i don't think that the dept justice has demonstrated that what it did was appropriate here. certainly there's a lot of unanswered questions. 20 journalists involved in the story? we also know that the leak that we think that they were investigating was a story that was held by the a.p.. it was handled responsibly. when they fund government had concerns about the timing of the story it wasn't broadcast or released by the a.p.. so there was a responsible effort by the press here. now, whether the government has a right to go after classified information, it does. but bear in mind if the government can get from the press any time it wants to information about who its sources are pretty soon the only thing we'll know about the government is what they want to tell us. this is not how things work and it's a tremendous adverse affect on a free press. >> woodruff: i hear you, but i also heard the attorney general say that what happened -- he said this leak put the american
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people at risk and he repeated that. >> sure. and if that's the case there are things that can be done. we've had a sad experience that grew out of the watergate era and there are regulations in place that were put in to reign in the excesses of the justice department in going after reporters in the post-vietnam, post-watergate era. and there are a number of those things in those regs. the attorney general is supposed to personally sign off on a subpoena before it's issues but more importantly before a subpoena goes out for sort of information they're supposed to be able to verify that the information is critical to a successful investigation and that it's not available for any alternative source and then they have an obligation to be sure it's narrowly drawn. we would like an explanation from the justice department of what they did to assure themselves they couldn't get what they needed from other sources and how they can justify this subpoena as narrowly drawn. and there's one other safeguard
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i want to mention because i think it's important. the way the regulations are written, when the justice department wants this information, this type of information, they're supposed to come to the press first and tell them what they want and negotiate so that they can narrow it and get what they need. they're only authorized to do this in a secret way as when done here when they can demonstrate that disclosing in advance would undermine the integrity of the investigation. it's really hard to understand on these facts how telephone logs from over a year ago that were sought in connection with an ongoing investigation that had been publicly disclosed-- we knew there was a special prosecutor looking at this-- how advising the a.p. in advance would have jeopardized that. and that's important because if they had advised us in advance, a court would have been allowed an opportunity to review that. that didn't happen. >> brown: all we have to go on at this point are the words of the attorney general. the deputy attorney general-- because the attorney general recused himself.
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we know in that letter from mr. kohl, the deputy attorney general, he said this was only done "after all other reasonable alternative investigative steps have been taken." he said there have been 550 interviews, tens of thousands of documents they had looked at before they turned to the phone records. >> and, again, that's not fall the letter. i'm not sure where you're getting some of those numbers. but one of the key points here is, judy, is if they had filed the procedures and notified the a.p. ahead of time, a.p. would have had the opportunity to ask a judge to review the situation and determine whether it satisfied the criteria, that's an important safeguard that was short circuited here. it was a unilateral action that has a huge impact. the reason there's been such a reaction in the press is that it really cripple it is ability of the press to do it job. what source is going to talk with a news organization that's viewed as being an investigative tool of the department of
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justice and if their records can freely be obtained in this matter then there's really a problem. this is a big step. >> pelley: that description i was using, i was quoting the attorney general as saying there had been an exhaustive search and then i guess there were some other anonymous quotes from others. but i guess my final question, david schulz, is where does the associated press, where should others in the media draw the line? because if the administration is saying classified information should not have been leaked, it put people's lives at risk and the journalists are saying "but we need to be able to do our jobs" where is the -- where should that line be drawn? >> it's a difficult question and i won't deny that there are circumstances where the government may need the cross that line but it should be very, very rare. bear in mind in the 35 years i've been practicing law i only know of one other instance where the department of justice when after a reporter's records without giving them advanced notice and that was just a single reporter for his home
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records and office records. this is 20 different phone lines and not of individual reporters but of bureaus. it's massively overbroad and i think that's part of the problem. it's not to say the government doesn't have legitimate rights here but it just overreached dramatically and short circuit it had procedural safeguards that can exist so we know the sensitives, the first amendment rightings, the need of the public to have information about the government is being protected. >> woodruff: david schulz, attorney representing the associated press, we thank you. >> thank you. >> brown: next, fred de sam lazaro reports from india on a group that's put together perhaps the world's largest campaign to improve remedial education. his story is part of our "agents for change" series.
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>> reporter: madhav chavan is trying to revolutionize the way india's children learn and the way they are taught, starting as early as possible. as these pre-schoolers identify the first letter in hindi for the word "mango," he egged them on. >> so what kind of face do you make when the mango is sour? >> reporter: unfortunately, chavan says, as they get older, most of these children will be bound for schools that are failing their students on many levels, beginning with rigid, outdated methods of instruction. >> this regimentation, rote learning, learning by heart, tell me the answer-- that is what kids are being taught. now this has to change. >> reporter: chavan founded a group 19 years ago called pratham, or first, aimed at generating a love of learning. it has trained about 120,000 young tutors and community volunteers to run learning
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centers and camps. so far, three million children have been tutored in rented rooms, houses of worship and in schools themselves in low-income communities across india. >> who can shout the loudest? ( screeching ) >> reporter: pratham's goal is to change the way school has long been perceived here: a solemn, temple of learning. >> the kids think to be in school is to stand like that. and the whole informality, non- formality of the learning process is completely lost. >> reporter: it takes the fun out of learning, basically? >> yes. >> reporter: with profound consequences. aside from an elite system that serves about 10% of india's 140 million school children, chavan says education-- largely the domain of central and state governments-- is in deep crisis. >> after spending five years in a primary school, barely about
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50% of kids can learn to the level of second grade. we have an old system of going from first grade to post- graduation for a certain number of kids and others fall by the wayside. the complaint of the employers who have the very entry-level positions is that the product of the schooling system is not even trainable, forget about employable. >> reporter: it's easy to see the problem unfold in the poorly equipped and crowded classrooms. a student-teacher ratio of 80:1 is not uncommon. rukhmini banerjee is the author of pratham's annual status of education report. >> you're a fifth grade teacher, and this is a typical classroom in india. you have kids there that are not even at first grade level. you're a committed teacher, but who are you going to teach? >> reporter: and you have 80 kids. >> you have 80 kids. so you end up teaching the kids who are easiest to teach. >> reporter: under banerjee, a university of chicago ph.d, pratham has developed programs to boost student achievement.
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it works with hundreds of schools like this one in the small town of jehanabad, in the populous eastern bihar state. instead of clustering students by age and grade, they are tested, then grouped by skill level in math and reading-- those able to read at a one-word level, for instance, a sentence, or a paragraph. several months into the program, principal rizwana parveen says there is marked improvement. >> children who could only read a letter are now almost reading paragraphs. and children who were reading paragraphs are now reading whole stories. >> now, what we're going to do here is, we're going to read these sentences carefully. >> reporter: the next step is to get children to think and write about what they're reading, as a pratham tutor did with children in the small bihar village of supanchak. typically, students are required to memorize the text, whether or not they understand it. >> read it and understand it.
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after you've finished reading it, write what you think, okay? >> you're reading a story so that you can then chat about it. now, this chatting about it often doesn't happen in our schools. we have very traditional notions about writing. writing has to be correct, not writing has to be from your heart. so we often encourage kids to say what you feel. >> reporter: pratham begins its work in communities like this by testing children's reading and math. those with the lowest scores then attend an intense seven-day learning camp. this one was held just outside the village school. there's no shortage of enthusiasm among children we visited, who said they much preferred learning here than from their regular school. a peek inside may explain. this is the village's one-room schoolhouse. it doesn't look like it sees much academic activity. it's more like a storage shack. there's cow dung cakes, which are fuel for cooking. there's some pots and pans, some iron rebar.
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and even if it were used as a school, there's just 400 square feet of space for 109 enrolled children. >> i like the way didi teaches us. >> reporter: what about school? >> i like school, also. >> reporter: these shy ten- and 11-year-olds dared not criticize their schoolteachers, who are, after all, addressed as "master." but it wasn't hard to pry out a preference for the pratham tutor called didi, or "big sister." >> i like didi better. >> reporter: you don't like the masters as much? why? >> it's easier to learn. they tell stories, and we have questions and answers after that. >> reporter: perhaps their most telling answer came when i asked how often their teachers showed up to school. >> one of them comes daily. the other two are irregular. >> they are here about once in a week. >> now, accountability is a big word, and, you know, many things need to happen. i think we're at a pre- accountability stage.
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>> reporter: banerjee says the hope is that the marked improvement children show after just a week at learning camp will spur communities to begin taking responsibility for their schools, long considered the domain of a distant government bureaucracy. >> we are big into blaming. you know we often start from blaming the british, then the prime minister-- you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. so somebody else is always at fault. so how do you get away from the fault business and let's do something? >> reporter: as pratham's founder, chavan feels momentum is building across indian society to do something about education. >> we are in east delhi in sort of a slum community. >> reporter: he says it's especially true in places like these, closer to india's prosperous, mostly urban new economy. here, he says parents willingly pay nominal tuition for pratham's services. but most of the group's $16.5 million budget comes from individual, corporate, and foundation donors, in india and overseas.
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for its part, india's government passed a right to education law in 2009, and has managed to enroll 96% of all children. that doesn't address the quality of education, chavan says, but does show a willingness to entertain new ideas and different ways to run school systems. >> by 2018, 2019, 50% of india's children will be paying for their own education in private school. but on the other hand, the governments are also playing with different models-- public- private partnerships like charter schools, if you will, for education. so india could come up with its own system of education as we go forward. >> reporter: what do you want to become when you grow up? we took that as an undecided. >> a math scholar. >> a doctor. >> reporter: it's not clear how their ambitions could ever be but forha
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these children-- whose parents never went to school-- can dream of something other than the subsistence farming that's been the lot of such children for generations. >> brown: fred's reporting is a partnership with the under-told stories project at saint mary's university in minnesota. >> brown: we turn to moscow, where a u.s. embassy officer was detained and accused of spying in a story that sounds right out of the cold war. margaret warner reports. >> warner: the announcement came in moscow from russia's federal security service, the f.s. b. releasing these photographs and video, they say u.s. diplomat ryan fogle in a blond wig and hat had been detained in moscow overnight. officially he's a diplomat at the u.s. embassy but the russians said he works for the c.i.a. and was caught trying to
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recruit a russian intelligence agent to work for the u.s. later today, the russians handed him over to the embassy and ordered him expelled from the country. in washington, the state department's patrick ventrell confirmed a u.s. diplomat had been detained but declined to elaborate. the incident came as the u.s. is seeking russian cooperation in two key areas-- the investigation of the boston bombing suspects and efforts to end the syrian civil war h. secretary of state john kerry was in moscow last week announcing a joint effort to bring about syrian peace talks. for more on this, i'm joined by "washington post" moscow correspondent will englund. will, welcome. this sounds like something out of a spy movie. how did this all unmold? >> well, the f.s.b. certainly came prepared. they detained ryan fogle last nighting in a residential street in southwest moscow.
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they brought cameramen, they brought video. they had a -- they made a pretty extensive record of their detention of him and of him back in the f.s.b. office and some american diplomats were called in to be there with them. they say they caught him as he was trying to recruit a russian agent and he had with him the tools of spy craft and they were very keen to display these tools on a table in the f.s.b. quarters in photos and videos that were released to the russian press very quickly. kind of an amazing bunch of stuff. he had two wigs, kind of fright wigs, almost. three sets of eyeglasses. a compass, a street atlas of moscow. what appears to be a canister of pepper spray. a knife and then the letter which you mentioned that he was apparently supposedly allegedly
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prepared to deliver to this russian agent he was trying to recruit. the letter addressed to "dear friend" and promising that if he cooperated over the years he could expect to make as much as a million dollars a year in the u.s. government for the information he would provide. then it goes on to instruct him on how to set up a gmail account at an internet cafe and without revealing personal details of himself. >> warner: who was he accused of trying to recruit? >> well, one report has it that he was looking to recruit a officer in one of the russian special services. a counterintelligence service based, interestingly, in the north caucusus, not in moscow. although the meeting took place in moscow. and obviously north caucusus is of great interest to american intelligence these days. this is the region in russia where tamerlan tsarnaev of the boston marathon bombings lived for six hs with
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his -- eventually his father and his mother. >> warner: why would the russians release him so quickly? >> well, he is a diplomat. he was here as third secretary in the political section. he's not a spy -- we don't know if he's a spy at all, actually. but he's not someone running a private business and working as a spy. that kind of work outside of diplomatic protection can get you into a lot of trouble if you're caught, particularly diplomats that are caught, exposed and expelled. these kinds of things do happen with some frequency. >> it's 30 years since the end of the cold war yet every few years we have these spying exposés. what kind of information is the u.s. looking for now? >> well, both countries are clearly still looking for classified military intelligence pertaining to the other country. you know, there's still two big military powers and they want that kind of information. russians for many, many years,
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going back at least to the 1930s have also been involved in industrial espionage in the united states and as we were talking, american intelligence agencies now are around great deal of pressure to come up with more information about radical extremist groups, particularly muslim groups, some of which have roots and connections here in russia. >> warner: and finally, what are the russians saying about whether this will affect cooperation on issues that the u.s. hopes to work with the russians on? >> there's a feeling that it won't have a tremendous effect. in the lower house of parliament they pleaded tonight that the bad effect of this would be fleeting but, of course, this doesn't do anything to improve relations. typically in cases like this someone wants to send a message and they're not really trying to derail relations all together. i think that's what this was
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about. maybe someone didn't like the idea of the u.s. agencies, the f.b.i. and the f.s.b., the russian f.s.b. cooperating that closely on the boston investigation. maybe it was some other thing that bothered somebody higher up the chain and they wanted to send a message to russia. >> warner: well, will englund of the juan, thank you. >> thank you, it's a pleasure. >> brown: now, how technology has made the world a smaller place, and, arguably, opened up new opportunities for the little guy in politics, business and entertainment. political editor christina bellantoni has our book conversation. >> reporter: 48 hours of video are uploaded to youtube every minute. this photo of the president and first lady was shared by more than 800,000 people on twitter. technology has allowed us to spread vast amounts of information at lightning speed. but how has that changed the way we interact with our friends,
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family, society, and government? that's the subject of a new book "the end of big: how the internet makes david the new goliath" by nicco mele. he teaches about the internet and politics at harvard's kennedy school of government and joins me now. thanks for being here. >> my pleasure, christina. >> reporter: you write we're in the midst of an epic change, a glebl transformation that gives us the opportunity to reimagine society and put the power back in the hands of the people. how so? >> well, there's been this tremendous transformation over the last 35 years. our technology keeps getting smaller and faster and even more connected. you know, in 1969, a supercomputer would have filled an auditorium and would cost $5 million bucks. it was inaccess to believe most americans. and today two-thirds of americans carry around smart phones in their pockets that are almost -- they're actually slightly more powerful than those supercomputers. that's a tremendous transformation. >> reporter: and what does that
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mean for society? how is it changing the way we interact? >> it's really about a transfer of power from our big institutions-- the big hierarchical systems that have organized our world, our society all parts of it from big companies to big governments to big media to big news-- and these institutions were organized around a hierarchical flow of power and with everyone walking around with this power in their pockets that is distributed to individuals all over the world. >> reporter: and you can apply it to politics, culture,. >> to really almost every institution you're looking at is facing some kind of transformation. it's no longer a passive audience in news and entertainment. the audience has power when they're carrying around smart phones. constantly connected. able to capture video and photos and share things and distribute information with zero cost globally.
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>> reporter: fast. and the core premise of this book is that you're experiencing what you've dubbed "radical connectivity." so what exactly is radical connectivity? >> one of the hallmarks of the end of big is we don't really have good language to describe what's going on. the internet doesn't quite capture what's happening because it's also mobile. we're carrying around with us. but mobile phones still is like a little too much about phones and so i point to radical connectivity to try and describe how anyone with a mobile smart phone is connected at enormous speed with complete mobility at practically zero cost. are >> and the heart of government is in our local communities, you write, in the book. and i'd love to have you explain where you have the power of having this in their cities and towns. how technology makes that possible. >> i'll tell you a story about that. i have two little boys and i live at the playground, right? got to keep those boys exhausted. and one of the play grounds i
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frequent has a very big, long slide. and in -- a couple years ago in hurricane irene the slide got damaged and the local town said it was going to be $25,000 $30 to replace the slide and that wasn't in the budget for a couple of years. and so i don't know who, some local parent, made a papal page, photocopyed fliers, stuck them to the trees all over the playground and said if every parent who visits here gives $100 to the paypal account, we'll raise the money to replace the slide overnight. sure enough, it happened in just a few weeks. and when i started to look at that i could see how this radical power, this incredible connectivity that individuals are carrying around, it's reshaping the balance of power in our communities in both good ways and bad ways. you know, there's some very exciting things happening. >> reporter: basically you prevent this as mostly a positive thing. an opportunity. but isn't there a flip side to an area where there could be danger in this new society?
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>>ure. a lot of time thinking about the balance of power and how to build a system of government that you could balance between the monarch and the mob. that you wanted deliberation. you wanted responsible leadership and responsible public policy. and our institutions are designed around that and carry checks and balances and considerations. the money we raised for slide, was that really the most pressing need and the best way to spend that money for the town it all happened outside the existing structures of the local government and so there wasn't any try negotiate that. and so while it's very exciting that a group of parents can quickly raise the money to replace the slide, it also happened outside the process of government that was designed to make this all work. and part of that is because the number of challenges on the front of our institutions, the
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different ways government is not doing as good as a job, is not as accessible as it should be, especially this age. that's the core thesis of my book is that our established institutions are threatened by technology that redistributes power. especially when they're doing a bad job. >> reporter: interesting stuff. nicco mele "the end of big." thank you very much. >> thank you, my pleasure. >> woodruff: finally tonight, a filmaker revisits his painful past in "never forget to lie" on frontline this evening. marian marzynski tells his story and the stories of others like him, all children who hid their jewish identity to survive during the holocaust. in the following excerpt, marzynski describes life after he was separated from his parents and taken to a polish clergyman by a family friend. >> the priest arranged for my
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stay at a catholic orphanage run by the italian order of brothers they were 45 orphans there. i was the youngest. only the brother superior knew who i really was. when german police came to the orphanage looking forish children, he would hide me behind the altar. at six, i had my holy communion and became the most dedicated altar boy, a favorite of the priests. during the mass i would sometimes fall asleep at the altar. a brother would pick me up and
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then carry me to my bed. when i was here 30 years ago one sister was still alive. do you remember me, sister? you look a little different. i don't remember your name. it's marish. oh, marish, the youngest of all the children. very small boy. and i remember you as a sister who always gave me sugar. i spent two and a half years at the orphanage. if when we saw the smoke over the warsaw ghetto i overheard the worst "the jews are burning." was my father still there? >> woodruff: tonight >> woodruff: you can watch frontline tonight. again, the major developments of the day. the obama administration faced tough questions about i.r.s.
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scrutiny of conservative groups, and the justice department's seizure of reporters' phone records. a philadelphia abortion doctor was sentenced to life in prison without parole, for murdering three babies who were born alive in his clinic. >> brown: will across the board federal budget cuts affect the systems that warn against floods? kwame holman tells us more. >> holman: scientists use stream gauges to track water levels and droughts. the cuts mean some 150 of them are being shut down. we explain how the devices work on the rundown. on this date in 1796, a british doctor gave a child the first smallpox vaccine, read the story of his remarkable discovery on our health page. feline fans unite at the internet cat video festival in oakland, california. find our slideshow on art beat. and tomorrow morning watch a live stream of a charity run at 8:00 a.m. eastern time as newshour staffers race against u.s. senators. all that and more is on our web
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site, newshour.pbs.org. judy? . >> brown: before we go tonight, we want to tell you once more about the report we'll have this friday on the anniversary of the watergate hearings. we've been hearing from many of you and we would love your input. >> good evening from washington. in a few moments we're going to bring you the entire proceedings in the first day of the senate watergate hearings. we're doing this as an experiment temporarily abandoning our ability to edit to give you the whole story. however many hours it may take. >> reporter: it's been 40 years since robert macneil and jim lehrer teamed up to co-anchor public television's gavel-to-gavel coverage of the senate watergate hearings. all 250 hours worth in the summer of 1973. that partnership became a news program that's been through a variety of forms and lives on in
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what you're watching today. jim and robin share their look back in a special report that will air later this month "covering watergate." but we also want to hear from you, our viewers. how did the watergate scandal impact your life or change the way you viewed government or the media? 40 years later, how has it impacted our nation? you can leave your comments on our home page or via twitter. use the hashtag "coveringwatergate." you can also call our oral history hot line at 202-599-4pbs. just follow the instructions and leave your voice mail at the tone. >> woodruff: we look forward to that. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll look at attorney general holder's testimony before senators on capitol hill. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thanks for joining us. good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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